What I learned from Laura Westra at the Loyola Marymount Urban Sustainability Retreat

I have been following Laura Westra’s work for some time, and while I have always liked her work, I had never met her. Yesterday, I got the privilege, and she is both brilliant and delightful.

Let’s put it this way: she had a long and productive career as a philosopher, and then, at age 65, her Canadian University aged her out and she responded by turning around and getting another PhD in jurisprudence and the law. She is in her 70s, she looks fabulous (yesterday she was wearing a grey zipper suit, heels, bright turquoise glasses, and pearl hoop earrings.) She has a black belt in karate, but she doesn’t do karate any more: she does kickboxing.

She has written and edited 24 books. This is her method, loosely transcribed:

“I write it all down with a pen and a paper. Then I go through and type it all. I have a Smith Corona–such a wonderful machine. There is only one man–a wonderful little man–who fixed all these typewriters for his business for many years. Now he is long retired, but he still fixes my Smith Corona for me. I don’t use the technology. It’s too distracting.”

Laura is a rights theorist, and here are three books with which to start:

Environmental Justice and & the Rights of Ecological Refugees

Environmental Justice and the Rights of Future Generations:Law, Environmental Harm, and the Right to Health

Environmental Justice and Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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